Since Aaron Maine began releasing music as Porches, his style has evolved from down-home alt-country to synth-streaked, lo-fi pop. Pool, Porches’ second album and first on the indie mainstay Domino Records, was another shift, diving headlong into the lacquered keys and prickly guitars of quintessential ’80s pop in a way that recalls circa-2009 chillwave.
With mixing by ace Chris Coady, the bid for professionalism paid off in a set of elegantly restrained, melancholic synth-pop tunes that showcase Maine’s aching falsetto. The laconic yet vivid lyrics, with references to weed, water, and other music, belie Maine’s background in painting.
There's even a heartstopping saxophone solo. What saves Pool from getting lost in its own glossy vibes is an underlying sense of intimacy, helped no doubt by its being recorded mainly in Maine’s Manhattan apartment, and by some warmly enigmatic backing vocals from Greta Kline, better known as Frankie Cosmos. A follow-up EP of Pool demos, Water, further attests to the sturdiness of Maine’s craft. –Marc Hogan